Dephosphorylation accelerates the dissociation of ZAP70 from the T cell receptor.
Goyette J., Depoil D., Yang Z., Isaacson SA., Allard J., van der Merwe PA., Gaus K., Dustin ML., Dushek O.
Protein-protein binding domains are critical in signaling networks. Src homology 2 (SH2) domains are binding domains that interact with sequences containing phosphorylated tyrosines. A subset of SH2 domain-containing proteins has tandem domains, which are thought to enhance binding affinity and specificity. However, a trade-off exists between long-lived binding and the ability to rapidly reverse signaling, which is a critical requirement of noise-filtering mechanisms such as kinetic proofreading. Here, we use modeling to show that the unbinding rate of tandem, but not single, SH2 domains can be accelerated by phosphatases. Using surface plasmon resonance, we show that the phosphatase CD45 can accelerate the unbinding rate of zeta chain-associated protein kinase 70 (ZAP70), a tandem SH2 domain-containing kinase, from biphosphorylated peptides from the T cell receptor (TCR). An important functional prediction of accelerated unbinding is that the intracellular ZAP70-TCR half-life in T cells will not be fixed but rather, dependent on the extracellular TCR-antigen half-life, and we show that this is the case in both cell lines and primary T cells. The work highlights that tandem SH2 domains can break the trade-off between signal fidelity (requiring long half-life) and signal reversibility (requiring short half-life), which is a key requirement for T cell antigen discrimination mediated by kinetic proofreading.